The move by the country’s apex food regulator to establish a robust nationwide system to monitor the quality of milk has come at the right time. The Karnataka Food Safety Commissionerate has reported the highest number of cases of adulteration in milk, followed by tea powder, and spices.
FSSAI has stated that it is the best way to ensure optimal utilization of the Food Safety on Wheels to instill confidence in consumers that food is safe. Also, Food Safety on Wheels is a critical component of the food safety ecosystem across the country.
While the common adulterants detected in milk are detergents, sugar, salt, and urea, these are sold in fake packs bearing the names of major dairy brands, such as Arokya, Thirumala Milk, and Adityaa Milk, to con consumers.
“The package cover duplication is rampant, and the concern now is the need to keep a watch over culprits who are seen to be experts in adulteration,” said Dr. Harshavardan B, deputy commissioner, food safety squad, Office of the Karnataka Food Safety Commissionerate.
“The recent violation reported for milk has come in from Erode in Tamil Nadu, which is raided from a milk vendor and found to be sub-standard for which the investigation reports are being compiled,” Dr. Harshavardan said.
Another issue that our inspectors have detected is that tea powder seized from beverage outlets is found to contain additives and colouring to enhance the taste of the hot drink,” he added.
Even the mixed spices used in food preparations are found to contain chemicals. The spices containing chili powder, among other taste enhancers, are known to result in food poisoning and allergies.
“The food inspectors have also found food outlets vending dum biryani using spoilt meat and vegetables, apart from contents of adulterated spices. In addition, the juice joints are being examined not just for water purity, but also for the quality of fruits used to the pulp,” Dr. Harshavardan said.
“The need of the hour is to ensure safe food is available across the outlet. For this, there is a need for qualified inspectors, testing facilities and a massive awareness to be created among the public to keep away from unhygienic food service surroundings and report the same to the Commissionerate,” he added.